I Am Protective

Special Needs


Giving People with Special Needs The Opportunity to Ride

Cathy Lindberg holds her 24-year-old daughter’s riding helmet between them and traces the matte black brim with her forefinger. “What makes this a princess helmet, Molly? Can you show us?” Her daughter raises her finger to the two gold horse stickers catching light from the top of the helmet. A smile stretches across her face. “That’s right,” Cathy says. “Because they’re magic.” When Molly’s riding helmet is strapped on and she mounts her black-and-white horse, Oreo, she is a princess. She takes the reins of her horse, flanked on each side by a volunteer side walker to ensure she stays secure in the saddle. A leader guides the horse through a series of maneuvers – stops, turns, trots. The team moves in sequence with other riders and walkers, preparing for one of the end-of-session horse shows. Molly is developmentally delayed, which qualifies her to participate in the therapeutic riding sessions…